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When’ll abandoned Kaduna PHCN office be revived?

However, 17 years after the contract was awarded, the project is still far from completion. In fact, the abandoned seven-storey building has been taken over…

However, 17 years after the contract was awarded, the project is still far from completion. In fact, the abandoned seven-storey building has been taken over by petty traders.

Speaking to Weekly Trust, an insider in the PHCN who did not want to be named, said the contract was awarded to an indigene of Kaduna State (names withheld) and that the contractor decided to play around with the project after receiving a substantial amount of money for the contract, believing he is above the law.

Continuing, he said the PHCN would have been saving over N30 million annually if the project had been completed. “We pay millions of naira as rent money to the Nagwatmatse House owners where our temporary headquarters is located. And if this project is completed, we are going to use all these monies for other things, which will be for the benefit of Nigerians.”

Another senior staff of the company who also craved anonymity, said the contractor handling the project left the site two years ago and since then, nothing serious has been done to return them to site. “Before they finally left the site, work on it was skeletal. But in early 2007, they finally left the site. They packed all their major equipment and left a crane and some minor tools,” he said.

He said further, “this project you are seeing is an old one. It was started during the tenure of Tanko Ayuba who was then the military administrator of the state. The project was initiated when the governor threatened to demolish the old colonial structure which we were using as our zonal office. Ayuba gave us a two-week ultimatum to start the project, but it was not started again until after many months. Our management then complained to the MILAD of lack of funds to commence the building and they told him to settle all the debts of the state. To our surprise, he ordered the immediate payment of the state’s bills amounting to millions of naira then and the money was used to float it. But I cannot tell you the amount the contract was awarded because it was not published,” the source said.

The source who said he has put in over 25 years in the service of the PHCN said the project was reviewed severally as prices of building materials kept soaring in the market, but that work on the site have always been slow.

The Manager, Public Affairs of the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDC) of the PHCN, Mr Baba Limmy, said the project is not an abandoned one and attributed the cause of the delay in the completion to poor funding.

He said the management of the company is very keen to complete the project, stressing that all strategies and plans on the project have almost been completed. He also said the project was embarked upon to serve as the headquarters of the KEDC of the PHCN, and that as soon as it is completed, the officials of the company will move into the place.

“This project is not an abandoned one. It is ongoing and we are working hard to ensure that it is completed on time. What is delaying it is funds, but we are going to overcome it because our new management is very much concerned about it,” Limmy said.